Tonight was my friend Tara George's going-away party from the Harris County District Attorney's Office. I would have posted about it earlier, but I didn't hear about the party until today.
Before anybody starts spouting conspiracy theories about anything, Tara and her family are moving out of town. She told me the town and she insists that it is in Texas, but I have my doubts.
To put it mildly, Tara's departure from the D.A.'s Office is a tremendous loss.
Tara was, without question, one of the Office's elite prosecutors. She has a brilliant mind and a tenacious spirit that no defense attorney would ever want to be on the wrong side of.
She was also very practical. She would evaluate a case based on its legal merits and she had the guts to acknowledge that a case couldn't be proven, even if the facts were upsetting. She trained the people that she worked with to operate under the ethic that they should do everything they could to prove the toughest of cases, but to never lose their credibility by bluffing on a case they couldn't prove.
I never met a prosecutor nor a defense attorney that didn't have an immense amount of respect for Tara and the way she prosecuted. In all honesty, she was one of those rare prosecutors who probably should have been made a Felony District Court Chief about two weeks into her tenure at the Office.
She knew the difference between defendants who had screwed up big time versus those who were true dangers to society. She was never one who sought bigger punishments on cases that were easier to prove. All of her recommendations and decisions were based on a very well-grounded sense of what was the truly just decision.
If every Assistant District Attorney had the same level-headedness about them that Tara did, there wouldn't be many complaints about prosecutors.
Yeah, I know I'm gushing at this point, but damn, Tara George was a great prosecutor.
I wish her the best in her future endeavors, and I hope that she finds herself back in the public sector. She was definitely a credit to it.
I do want to point out that probably no one will miss Tara more than her "Ether Twin," Inger Hampton. (NOTE: I take credit for coining that term because when they worked together in the 180th District Court, they were on the same page about every last detail an attorney could possibly bring up to them.)
There has been a lot of press lately about prosecutors behaving badly, but for now, I'd just like to bid goodbye and good luck to one of the ones that we all hold in the highest esteem.